Blood Orange Old Fashioned

Interior designer and entertaining maven Danielle Rollins shares her version of the classic cocktail from her book, SOIRÉE: ENTERTAINING WITH STYLE
blood orange old fashioned recipe
Danielle Rollins shares her recipe for crowd-pleasing blood orange Old Fashioned cocktails.

Atlanta based interior designer Danielle Rollins kicks off her Fall Harvest party by giving classic Old Fashioned cocktails a seasonal twist with blood oranges. Blood oranges come into season just in time for holiday gatherings. Rollins notes that preparing the glasses ahead of time with rough-cut, pure cane sugar cubes soaked with blood orange bitters allowed the bartender to add ice and fill each glass as needed from a big pitcher of premade mix with bourbon. Each gets topped with a splash of lime-flavored sparkling water just before serving.

Blood Orange Old Fashioned Recipe (Makes 8)


  • 16-24 brown sugar cubes (such as Sugar in the Raw)
  • Blood orange bitters
  • 16 ounces Bulleit Bourbon or other good quality artisanal bourbon
  • 32 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice (available seasonally, or substitute orange juice)
  • Thinly sliced blood orange wheels and/or thickly sliced zest of blood orange, for garnish
  • Lime-flavored sparkling water
  • 8 double old-fashioned glasses and ice cubes


1 | Put 2 or 3 brown sugar cubes in each double old-fashioned glass; soak with blood orange bitters and let dissolve. (Helpful hint: Doing this a couple of hours ahead of time allows the sugar to dissolve and saves time when making the drinks.)

2 | Fill a large pitcher with the bourbon and blood orange juice. Stir to combine.

To serve individual drinks, fill a glass with ice. Pour blood orange-bourbon mixture over the ice and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a blood orange wheel and/or blood orange zest.

Get more of Danielle Rollins’ Fall Harvest menu and recipes in her book, Soirée: Entertaining with Style (Rizzoli New York).

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An Autumn Affair

Danielle Rollins’ Blood Orange Old Fashioned made an appearance in Flower magazine’s Sept/Oct 2019 issue when Birmingham interior designer Ragan Cain and her husband Brad hosted a fall alfresco soirée.  See more scenes from the party here, featuring event design by Caroline Gidiere of Caroline Gidiere Design and floral designs by Mary Cox Brown of Marigold Designs.

‘Sevilla’ fabric from Rosa Bernal Collection. Photo by David Hillegas
Lyford Cay’ rattan lanterns from Amanda Lindroth. Photo by David Hillegas